Kirkland’s EvergreenHealth was one of six hospitals statewide and two within the Puget Sound region to receive a five-star overall rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The rating is based on a report published in early 2019. The rating represents high scores across a range of quality measures and places the hospital among the top 293 hospitals in the nation for quality, according to a press release. The rating ranges from one to five stars, with more stars reflecting higher performance.

CMS’s Hospital Compare tool evaluates quality measures in seven areas to calculate overall ratings for qualifying hospitals, including patient outcomes data such as mortality, safety of care, readmission, and efficient use of medical imaging, the release states. Those evaluations are combined with direct patient feedback on patient experience, effectiveness and timeliness of care. According to the release, 82 percent of patients reported their EvergreenHealth physicians communicated well, and the time patients spent waiting in the emergency department before being admitted to the hospital as an inpatient was reportedly one hour less than the state average.

“We are honored to be among the few hospitals in our region to be recognized by CMS for our outcomes,” said Amy Beiter, MD, EvergreenHealth CEO, in a statement. “Earning this five-star rating is another reflection of our commitment to provide absolute safety, coupled with exceptional quality, experience and value.”

The new ratings were published in February after CMS had implemented changes to its ratings methodology designed to enhance the accuracy of evaluation and reporting criteria, according to the release. Patients are encouraged to use Hospital Compare as a tool to plan their next hospital visit — except for emergency care — to compare the quality of care at various hospitals.

The tool is part of CMS’s Hospital Quality Initiative, which uses a variety of tools to help hospitals improve the quality of care they deliver. The aim is to “help improve hospitals’ quality of care through easy-to-understand data on hospital performance, and quality information from patient perspectives.”

In 2017, EvergreenHealth was one of only 174 hospitals in the nation to be exempt from CMS readmission fines for the upcoming fiscal year for six consecutive years, the release states. More information on EvergreenHealth’s commitment to quality care can be found online.